Sunday, May 10, 2009

Secret visitors

We've had secret visitors in the house. They sneek in, unannounced and unobserved, do their thing or leave a goodie, and then they slip away. We've found blessings left by the Pillowcase Posse; Food Brownies have left food (sometimes brownies!) on the counter; and then there is the Ironing Genie, aka my mother-in-law who will now take exception with 'sneek in.'

I really have the world's best mother-in-law who says she learned her skills from her own mother-in-law. Perhaps it's the kind of legacy we should all be trying to preserve. At any rate, she will say, "I never come over unless I'm invited." That is true. SO, she would never 'sneek in.' She corrects me and reminds me that I invited her and the door was open so.......that is not a sneek. I stand corrected. Also, I do not wish to cork this genie.

Mary Ann came over, invited, on a day that Mike was still quite ill. I needed to run a few errands and didn't want to leave him alone. I asked her if she'd be willing to sit with him. "Of course, I'll be right over." What a doll.

While he was asleep, she happened to notice way down in my laundry room that I had some unironed shirts hanging up by the iron. She mentioned this to me as in, "I can't do much but I CAN iron. Would you like me to iron these shirts?"

She spoke cautiously as she was NOT trying to imply that I could not do this myself. "I once volunteered to clean out someone's refrigerator and she got mad."

Note to reader: this was NOT me.

She is also the one who cautioned me, when I was planning to hire a housecleaner, "They'll never do it to your standards."

Excuse me. hahahahahahahahahaha

Mary Ann spent most of her adult life as a professional stay-at-home mom. She reminded me that she spent 40 years ironing shirts (does she think she needs a job recommendation?) and that she spent 7 minutes a shirt.

Think about THAT. She worked her magic on traditional cotton men's dress shirts, made her own liquid starch, and I'm sure timed her work as though she clocked in and out. We don't own that kind of shirt. Perma-press all the way. In fact, in the last few years, I've ponied up bigger bucks for No Iron shirts, some of which really ARE no iron. But even the ones that need some work don't require the kind of effort Mary Ann was accustomed to expending.

I believe her first visit was during a doctor's appointment. We were gone no more than 90 minutes. We returned to the best-ironed shirts we've ever had in THIS house. Hmmmmm. Maybe there is something to that 7-minute thing.

The Genie visited again last week and I believe we can do without ironing now for several weeks.

Mary Ann and I share a love for the sick guy. She has given him much. This month, she gave him professionally ironed shirts.


  1. just want to tell you the number one fan of your writing is reading regularly... I'm so glad you are surrounded by such love! janis

  2. In my bachelor days, anytime my mom came over to my house she'd surreptitiously clean the dishes, sweep the floor, or dust if I left her in a room alone for more than 2 minutes. Eventually I finally made her a deal, if she wanted to clean it that bad I'd give her a day a month she could go crazy with the scrubbing, but only if she allowed me to take her out to dinner. Thus a tradition was born.

    My bachelor days weren't too long lasting, but it gave us a good excuse to catch up once in awhile AND I got clean dishes, woot!

  3. Next time I'm over I'll have to slip some wrinkled shirts onto the rack. If I ever had too much money I'd never iron and have a personal hair-washer.